For years when you visited a Jewish neighborhood, you looked forward to Kosher baked goods and some of the very best cuts of meat around. These days something else is popping up in Jewish neighborhoods—especially in the Northeast and the Chicago area. Kosher pizza is becoming far more widespread.
According to a recent report, Kosher pizza parlors are opening in these regions at a fairly rapid rate. But does that mean that Kosher pizza is good?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t. In fact, it is known for being kind of awful.
Neapolitan chef and former Kosher pizza maker Giulio Adriani spoke recently about the new trend in Jewish neighborhoods.
“Historically, (Kosher pizza) had a bad reputation…because of the materials that were used,” he explained. “(It) was a product made with whatever was available on the market, without a lot of research.”
While Adriana notes Kosher pizza’s downfall as being its dough, Rabbi Moshe Elefant—the Chief Operating Officer at Orthodox Union Kosher—claims it’s the cheese instead. In order for cheese to receive Kosher status, it can’t be made with rennet—an enzyme found in the lining of calves’ stomachs. A substitute enzyme made from fungi is typically used instead. It wasn’t particularly well-received, as it didn’t have the appeal of traditional mozzarella—which is a necessity when making pizza.
Recently, however, some Kosher pizza parlors have started using more expensive ingredients. Some Kosher Jews are making their own cheese. These establishments are becoming known for a rather delicious—albeit rather pricey—pizza.
Some Kosher pizza parlors have a ways to go before reaching exceptional pizza grades. As those like the aforementioned parlors catch on to making their own or using more expensive ingredients, the overall quality of Kosher pizzas will improve. Where there’s quantity, which there is in both New York and Chicago Kosher pizza parlors, there needs to be quality, too. Only then will everyone enjoy a delicious Kosher pizza.